Demon’s Heart by Emily Bates
A YA Fantasy Novel published by Sweetwater Books (12/09/14)
“Running away was what he did best.” (Page 94).
Rustav just wanted to escape his abusive uncle and live in peace. After finding himself in a small welcoming village, Rustav stays to recover and eventually makes friends with Dantzel and several others in the village. When the Guards finally come, Rustav does what he does best, runs away. Rustav didn’t count on Dantzel following him into the forest. They find a race of legendary forest dwellers, the Tuatha, who are both kind and sinister. Entrapped by the Tuatha until one Tuath tells him the truth, Rustav learns the truth about his heritage and inheritance. Now Rustav must decide whether to save the country or run away again.
Forest, Demons, Escape, Chased, Legend, Country, Leader, Corrupt King, Heir, Adventure, Identity, Past, Future, Friendship, Loyalty, Love, Brave, Resistance
This is the story trope of the chosen one. Rustav doesn’t know he’s the fabled heir to the kingdom, chosen at birth because of his lineage. When he finds out his true identity, he must choose to follow his destiny or cast it aside. If he chooses to follow his set path in life, he will have a great many trials to face. Though this isn’t in any way a new story, I loved the author’s voice and the way she told the story. Rustav is an underdog that I immediately wanted to succeed. He had just enough resistance to his path to make his story interesting.
The pacing was great. The author focused in on each plot point perfectly and didn’t leave Rustav in any one place too long. Rustav was never stagnant on his adventure and even when he was caught up in one place for a lengthy period of time, it never felt like it dragged to the reader.
I loved both Rustav and Dantzel. They were not the stereotypical male/female pair. Rustav does not always confront things head on. He had to run away to stay alive, but when he had to make a stand and be brave, he did! Dantzel was not a damsel in distress. She follows Rustav because she’s tired of being complacent and she wants to find her father and have an adventure. She holds her own next to Rustav.
The fantasy elements were not overwhelming but perfectly tied into the story and the plot. The dialogue and action were relevant and well-written for this fantasy story.
This novel was published by Sweetwater Books on December 9th, 2014 and is available on Amazon here.
TL;DR Star Rating: 4.75
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